Home & Garden

Shut down water during vacation?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 2nd, 2018 11:12 am
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 17, 2013
1089 posts
485 upvotes
CALGARY

Shut down water during vacation?

I know this has been discussed multiple times, but never got the answer for this specific question.

We are going away few weeks in Dec. We decided to reduce the thermostat to 15C and shut down main water supply, this is a new build home which is 6 months old. My question is, if we shut down the water supply completely, the whole house humidifier will run empty and the humidity inside will drop significantly. I was told that dry interiors damage flooring and window panels etc. What should I be doing? Will be thankful if someone shares insight.
16 replies
Deal Addict
Sep 22, 2009
1894 posts
537 upvotes
Markham
Your humidifier will run as long as the heater is on....even setting at 15degC
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
30496 posts
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East Gwillimbury
BDSL wrote:
Nov 26th, 2018 6:28 pm
Your humidifier will run as long as the heater is on....even setting at 15degC
He plans to shut the water off completely.

Your house is only 6 months old. I would set the heat a little higher just to dry out the basement. 17 is a good setting

As for the water. If you are going to be gone for several weeks, you can always get a couple of pails and fill it with water. It will evaporate over time just like your toilets.
Temp. Banned
Dec 19, 2009
3506 posts
1491 upvotes
Which would you rather come home too:
A possibly drier than normal house or a flooded basement?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 25, 2015
1039 posts
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York Region
Test the water shut off now to ensure it works as intended.
Penalty Box
Dec 27, 2013
8003 posts
3948 upvotes
Toronto
yes OP shut off water for sure
dont worry about humidity. and like others said if u can drain pipes might be good idea too.

my parents house had the FRIDGE water line break (fridge that has water cooler/ice maker).. the feed line (plastic) snapped. That water pipe from the main line to the fridge is literally .25cm in diameter and pretty much flooded the kitchen in 12 hours lol as I had been there the day before.

and yes check with your insurance. most policies have a 7 day check up... (Ih aven't seen 4 day check up).. but 7 day is pretty common.
Deal Guru
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Feb 11, 2007
11772 posts
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Oakville
I wonder if having smart home sensors (tstat, cameras, etc) is enough to count for weekly checkups for insurance.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 17, 2013
1089 posts
485 upvotes
CALGARY
Really appreciate the replies.

1. Will shut the water completely.
2. Drain all pipes, toilets and water line in Fridge.
3. Have pots of water in the house and tubs with water for humidity.
4. Will reduce the temp to 16C.

will have someone to visit now and then.
Deal Addict
Aug 27, 2009
1307 posts
394 upvotes
Oakville
I have 2 shutoffs - the usual one at the water meter and a 1/4 turn ball valve 2 ft downstream. I use the latter when needed.

I moved the humidifier water supply takeoff to be between the 2 valves. The feed is controlled with a small saddle valve so should there ever be a failure the flow would be low enough that it would just run into the nearby drain and there'd be minimal flood risk. The chances of a pipe burst between the 2 shutoffs is very low and I don't worry about it. My humidifier will continue to function when I'm away during winter.

YMMV depending on your basement and furnace/humidifier, water supply locations and setup.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2009
1427 posts
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You can shut the water off, but I would have someone go thru the house every other day or so and let the person fill your humidifier. Even if something does happen to your house while you are away and you have to make an insurance claim, the insurance may not cover you if no one checks up on your property.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 18, 2005
18685 posts
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GTA West
OP, check the terms of your home insurance!
It might be necessary to have someone come to the house every X number of days, otherwise you will lose coverage for certain things.

My own insurance policy states that it can't be unattended for over 7 days straight or there's no coverage for flooding, etc. You have to get someone to check on your place periodically.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
2725 posts
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KINGSTON,ON
eonibm wrote:
Dec 1st, 2018 11:18 am
leave everything on. I've never shut a thing off and nothing has happened.
Never won the lottery either, I bet.
I can tell you that the odds of a furnace failure and subsequent pipe freezing while you are away on vacation, versus winning the lottery, are substantially better.
Neighbours down my street are military, and both went on deployment over the winter. Their furnace did exactly that. It was only discovered when the City noticed an abnormal meter reading.
They had to completely gut the interior and throw out many of their belongings.

Edit: added text to clarify meaning in order keep the smarty pants happy.
Last edited by MrFrugal1 on Dec 2nd, 2018 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
14312 posts
4181 upvotes
Here 'n There
MrFrugal1 wrote:
Dec 2nd, 2018 6:54 am
Never won the lottery either, I bet.
I can tell you that the odds of a furnace failure and subsequent pipe freezing are substantially better.
Neighbours down my street are military, and both went on deployment over the winter. Their furnace did exactly that. It was only discovered when the City noticed an abnormal meter reading.
They had to completely gut the interior and throw out many of their belongings.
Yup, lottery wins and shutting water off are interdependent!

Um, the furnace doesn't know when you are not home so the chances of it freezing when you are not around is the same. Everyone knows that!

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